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Rose Petal Beads

Question:

I'd like to try my hand at making rose beads, but I'm not sure how to do it. Can you give me instructions?

Answer:

Rose beads are made from rose petal pulp and will keep their fragrance for years. Making the beads is pretty simple; it just takes a little patience and practice.

Start by gathering the petals. You'll find that the more vibrantly colored and fragrant the petal, the more vibrantly colored and fragrant the bead. To make about 12 to 24 beads you will need 2 large handfuls of petals.

There are two ways that I prepare the paste from the petals. The traditional method is to simmer them in water an hour everyday for about 3 days. To do this place the petals in a saucepan and just cover them with water. Heat the mixture for about an hour making sure that it never comes to a boil. Repeat this process for 3 days, adding more water if necessary.

Another less time consuming method is to pulverize the petals with a little water in a food processor until you have a paste.

To make the beads simply work a bit of the rose petal paste between your fingers to create a ball, squeezing out excess water as you go. Keep in mind that these will shrink dramatically as they dry. A half-inch diameter is a good size to start with and you can modify this to suit your needs.

Allow the beads to dry partially and then press onto a large needle, being sure to make the hole in the middle of the bead. Move the beads on the needle frequently as they dry to prevent them from sticking. In 2 to 3 days they should be completely dry and ready to be strung on a strong piece of thread or fishing line.